US Treasury Secretary Urges to Hurry Up with Russia Probe
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin believes that the ongoing investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election is a "giant distraction" from important affairs and recommends finishing up with it quickly.
"Nobody has said that in any way this impacted the election…. I think it should be over quickly, because I think there's nothing there," Mnuchin told CNN on Sunday.
When asked whether US President Trump could fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is responsible for the investigation into alleged ties between Trump's election campaign office and Russia, Mnuchin said that he did not know anything about that, Sputnik reported.
The US Congress is currently investigating Russia's alleged meddling in last year's US presidential election and "collusion" between Trump's campaign team and the Kremlin, while another investigation is conducted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice under the guidance of Mueller.
So far Mueller charges four members of the Trump campaign, with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleading guilty earlier in December over lying to the FBI.
As a result of the first charges brought by the special prosecutor as part of the Russia probe, former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates placed under house arrest over charges on 12 counts, including tax evasion.
In addition, former foreign policy adviser George Papadopolous admitted lying to the FBI over a meeting with a London-based professor, who had allegedly promised to put him in contact with people allegedly possessing "dirt" on Hillary Clinton.
While Trump has called the investigation into his campaign team alleged collusion with Russia conducted separately by Mueller and the Senate a "witch hunt," numerous Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have repeatedly refuted the claims of Moscow's alleged interference in the US presidential election, pointing out that they remain unsubstantiated.